The Atheist Church?
THE ATHEIST CHURCH?
“Atheism has nothing to do with Communism, Satanism, evil, immorality, or any of what you have probably been taught about it.”Atheist Revolution”
“There would be a religion of reason,we would have realized the rational means to maximize human happiness. We may all agree that we want to have a Sabbath that we take really seriously – a lot more seriously than most religious people take it. But it would be a rational decision, and it would not be just because it’s in the Bible. We would be able to invoke the power of poetry and ritual and silent contemplation and all the variables of happiness so that we could exploit them. Call it prayer, but we would have prayer without bullshit.”Sam Harris
“I do call it prayer. Here is the atheist prayer: that our reason will subjugate our superstition, that our intelligence will check our illusions, that we will be able to hold at bay the evil temptation of faith.”Gary Wolf,Interview with Sam Harris
“But the atheist movement, by his lights, has no choice but to aggressively spread the good news. Evangelism is a moral imperative. Dawkins does not merely disagree with religious myths. He disagrees with tolerating them, with cooperating in their colonization of the brains of innocent tykes.”Gary Wolf,Interview with Richard Dawkins
“Yes, there could be a rational religion,we could have a rational policy not even to think about certain things.”Daniel Dennet
This is not intended to formulate a new Atheist religion,that’s what we are fighting against,but to show how important it is to “spread the good news” about our conviction.
“How can we build on our successes to transform atheism from a mere collection of like-minded individuals into a true, visible movement backed by the force of numbers?” Ebonmuse asks fellow atheists.He wants some strong organization capable of competing with religion on the ideological front.But how do we achieve this?
There is no doubt that atheism is reasonable, more reasonable than religious belief in gods and appealing to the open-minded, educated in the West though the trend is in reverse order in poor countries or where the literacy rate is low.There priests,pastors,mullahs and monks of all sorts reign supreme.But no matter how weird and improbable the religious mythologies are,they continue to be popular everywhere and shape the outlook of society in general.
As it has been clearly shown that religion can be harmful from evidence available and events in the past and present(human sacrifice,godly ordained genocides,witchunts,inquisition,the cruzades,the killing of the heretics like me for that matter,war on terror(some in America believe it is god given right to punish Babylon,some bombs carry biblical passages!-read The Cause of Terrorism),religious beliefs of Bin Laden and his Al-Qaida,martyr muslim suicide bombers who expect reward in heaven for their atrocities(people who believe in absurdities ca commit atrocities),the expectation of Armaggeddon(don’t dismiss it-people can make it happen if they are mad enough and powerful enough to implement policies to that end,and religious people seem to be in the above mentioned situation),the list of religious misdeeds goes on and on and eclipses any good thing coming out of it.
In view of these perils,atheists,agnostics,and non-believers should come out and proclaim “their” good news to humanity.Why?Religionists are spreading theirs and are winning hearts and minds simply by presenting unproven and unprovable mythologies and people accept this as it is the only offer on the table.It is high time atheists came out of the woods and present their case before the people in no uncertain terms and let the people choose for themselves who is right or wrong.But as for now,unlike organized religion, atheists are a collection of unrelated individuals who think alike but not organized in a nationally or internationally recognized body with a common reference.It is hard for a movement like this to make a difference on how things are done.
Now,how do atheists organize themselves?
“Organizing atheists is often likened to herding cats. Because “atheism” refers to nothing more than a lack of acceptance of the theistic belief claim (i.e., that some sort of god or gods exist), atheists appear to have little in common besides what they do not believe. And yet, there do appear to be a few issues on which most atheists, secular humanists, and freethinkers agree and can be united (e.g., opposition to theocracy, a preference not to be bombarded with pro-religion messages, disgust over anti-atheist bigotry, etc.). However difficult organizing atheists may be, this does not mean that it is impossible or that it would not be advantageous.”Vjack
He continues:”Without improved organization, we atheists, secular humanists, and/or freethinkers are never going to have much of a voice. Unless we can find common ground, even if it consists of temporary alliances focused on particular issues, we are doomed to be barely audible voices of reason in a sea of superstition and irrationality. A noble position? Perhaps, but I tend to be more concerned with results than appearances.”Says Vjack of Atheist Revolution
But this does not mean atheists are sleeping.
“Yes, I am fully aware that there are already a handful of organizations attempting to do something like this for the freethought community. I am even a member of a couple of them. They are certainly a step in the right direction, but none come close to what we need. These organizations are weakened by their division, do a lousy job of recruiting new members or providing a sense of community to current members, and some do not really seem to do much of anything other than collect money. We can do better. I know we can do better. There are atheists all over America who are ready to come forward and be a part of a movement. It saddens me to see this resource wasted.”Says Vjack
But again, there is the “downsides of organization. Organization leads to hierarchy, hierarchy leads to doctrine, doctrine leads to suppression of dissent – exactly some of the things we’re trying to avoid.
A decentralized movement has the advantage that to enough eyes, all errors are obvious – and nobody is afraid to point out that the Decider is wrong. With the Internet’s ability to propagate one person’s idea – regardless of who that person is – to thousands or millions, there’s just no need for a Central Committee.
Many organizations are better than one, because you have somewhere to go when one turns bad. And we already *have* many organizations – the reason their cumulative size isn’t as great as the fundies is that we are still a minority.” comment by Chris on Reaching-out,Daylight Atheism
This is a legitimate concern.I hope atheists don’t fall in the trap.We should think hard how to present our views,be heard and taken seriously.This doesn’t mean we need a pope.All we need is a powerful organization equal to the challenge atheists face.
Atheism is a non-belief and atheists must enjoy all the benefits enjoyed by believers under the constitution of any country.And it’s not the lack of intellectuals as probably most intellectuals are atheists or unbelievers of one sort or another.Simply atheists are afraid of rejection by society,I am afraid to be rejected by my society as an infidel,irreverent of society and tradition.In some muslim and highly religious countries you could be killed for daring to question god’s holy books and traditions.
Yet we know the truth.It is a contradiction.Only audacity and imagination can break the deadlock.I don’t call this the god given mission to evangelize because for us such a thing as a god who orders to evangelize does not exist but humanity given mission.Once we discover the truth it is imperative that we pass it on others for their good and ours.For no one happens to become an atheist by chance.Most atheists are hard thinking people,former saints who failed to get a sign from above,for one can not decide overnight that god doesn’t exist as most of us were raised to believe that.My conviction is that most atheists were true believers,they strongly wished their was a god,but through their research they were disappointed,they had been led to believe falsehoods.
How do we promote atheism?Of course atheism is not a religion.It is an idea.An idea capable of freeing the human mind of superstition and in the process do away with the consequences of those superstitions.Atheists are promoting atheism by whatever means available to them -by websites,blogs,associations,even atheist churches with pastors!etc but they are still far outnumbered by the myth traders
To be visible and influential,atheists may form communities where they discuss atheism,reason and related issues.Can we call the communities or groups churches?Atheist churches without god and faith,church for the unchurched?The name does not matter,these are not churches per se,but congregation of unbelievers, the idea is a meeting place where the sophisticated help out the unsophisticated and all non-believers feel at home and promote their agenda-aren’t theists promoting theirs.For,while we sleep,the boat,is drifting to the abyss of superstition.
Another thing is The Atheist Bible.An evolving book,constantly updated as new light emerges.What would you call it?The Book Of Blood,The Anti-Bible,The Counter-All-Holy-Books,The Black Bible,Dark Bible,Skeptics Annotated,The Holy Infidel Book,The Pagan Bible,The New Revised Michael Martin Version or the Standard Dawkins Version.Can we have in it